Silver Pavilion and Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto
Sakyo-ku Travel Blog› entry 9 of 20 › view all entries
It was already late afternoon, but we decided to head over to Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion. We took a cab there with the plan to walk back along the Philosopher’s Walk.
The Silver Pavilion was originally a mountain retreat for shogun Yoshimasa who intended to cover the building in silver leaf as a tribute to his grandfather, who covered Kinkaku-ji in gold leaf. The Silver Pavilion never received its silver leaf finish, but the name stuck. We walked around the Ginshaden sand layout and along the path that wound through the gardens. I really enjoyed this temple. The temple sat peacefully along a rock-lined pond. The path through the mossy forest followed the pond, around a bamboo forest, along a stream and up a hill with great views. It was so relaxing that I could picture myself as shogun wandering these paths.
After the temple, we stopped for some ice cream before heading down the Philosopher’s Walk. The cherry blossoms were gorgeous. We hit them right at the peak. The Philosopher’s Walk is a little trail along a cherry blossom lined canal. Part of the trail was closed for restoration, so we walked in the street next to the canal. It was very peaceful and relaxing and seemed to be downhill the whole way. The path followed close to the edge of the canal and it could be easy to fall in the canal (and hard to get out). We followed the canal and crossed over to the Otoyo Shrine, one of the few Shinto shrines in the city. We continued our walk back to the hotel in the dark. We stopped in our rooms for a short rest before heading out to one of the temples that were open late and lit up for night-time cherry blossom viewing.